• NatureNOW (OWLT)

The Race is On to Conserve Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs

Over the past two months, life has taken on a new perspective. The line between essentials and luxuries has been clarified. A key essential is the need to seek solace within nature. This has been very evident in the increased usage of OWLT preserves. As Ruthie, who (with her four children) has become a frequent visitor of Bratt Woods, shared in a 'thank you' message:

“The outdoors are more important than ever for our physical and mental health.”

The good work OWLT has accomplished together, for the last 28 years, has resulted in a refuge for many people, throughout the Greater Milwaukee area, during this season of crisis. The thanks go to you, the dedicated supporters, for making this possible. Together you have made an impact for the many people that find a sense of peace on the OWLT preserves. 

Therefore, it is with excitement, that we share this message with you. We wanted you to be among the first to know about Ozaukee Washington Land Trust plans to protect nearly three-quarters of a mile of Lake Michigan shoreline and 131 acres of land as a nature preserve in Port Washington. 

Just days ago, we signed a contract with the owner of this land that gives us the right to acquire the land for permanent protection.

This is a big first step, but this is a marathon, and

there are many steps to go before the finish line.

The terms of our contract means the land trust has set various financial and internal review benchmarks that must be met prior to November 1, 2020 in order for the project to continue and before the full terms and negotiated price will be made public.

This means we need a strong showing of 

financial support over the next several months

in order to make this


Lake Michigan

project a reality!

To date, the partnership has secured $1 million in funding made up of individual and agency contributions. Sources of additional funding for the project are a pending grant from the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program, as well as several proposals to federal agencies.

But we will need support from you!

OWLT has set a goal to fundraise $2 million in addition to these contributions above and the clock is ticking.

The generosity of our community working with OWLT, to make places like Lion’s Den Gorge, Mequon Nature Preserve, and Forest Beach Migratory Preserve a reality gives us great optimism that we will again be successful in reaching our goal.

Once completed, Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Nature Preserve will complement the nearby Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve, which regularly hosts 100,000+ annual visitors inspiring Lake Michigan views from the 100 foot high bluffs, critical wildlife and migratory bird habitat areas, and natural areas such as the dramatic cedar-lined gorge descending to the shoreline below will be preserved for future generations to enjoy forever. 

Together, we can win the race to protect

the natural beauty of Lake Michigan's shoreline!

We’re so glad you’re with us for the long haul of this project.

For an Aerial Tour of Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs click here.

There are two actions you can take today to make this dream a reality:

1. Make a special donation to support the purchase of Cedar Gorge Clay Banks Nature Preserve.


2. Share photo and stories that tell how important having protected places like this along Lake Michigan means to you and your family. Send an email to lknobloch@owlt.org or post on


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